Is it a bruise or a bruise?


Bruises and bruises occur when blood leaks out of a damaged blood vessel after an injury. There are many differences between the two, including affected blood vessels, appearance and symptoms, and healing time.

This article will show you how to tell bruises from bruises. You will also learn why and how they develop and what can be done to treat them.


  • Small leak from smaller blood vessels

  • Flat and soft to the touch.

  • It usually heals without medical attention in two weeks.


  • Pooling of blood due to a large leakage of large blood vessels.

  • Lifted, hard and painful

  • It can take weeks or months to heal and may require treatment.

What is a bruise?

Bruises are caused by tiny leaks from tiny blood vessels like capillaries .

When they occur under the skin, they are usually clearly visible. Initial change in skin color from black and blue to yellow, green, or light brown in 5 to 10 days.

These bruises are flat, although there may be slight swelling. They can be soft to the touch.

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Bruises can also form in deeper tissues, such as those that make up muscles and bones. Although you will not see them, you will feel pain and discomfort in the area of the injury.

Bruises usually heal on their own after the bleeding stops, which takes a week or two. They rarely cause dangerous complications, but they can if they are extensive or with an additional problem. For example, a black eye from a broken face can cause vision problems.

What is a bruise?

Hematomas are larger bleeds and often involve larger blood vessels. With a bruise, the flowing blood collects and thickens, forming a dense, tender mass.

Bruises can form deep within the body, for example, within a muscle, within or around an internal organ. They can also form under the skin, on the scalp, in the nose or ears, and under the toenails or toenails.

Approaching the surface of the skin, the bruise looks like a painful lump, initially red, black, or blue.

Alexander Litvinyuk / Getty Images

As bruises break down and absorb the dense accumulation of blood, they eventually turn yellow or brown.

Bruises can grow large and collect enough blood to cause low blood pressure and shock .

Very large bruises, such as those that develop on the muscular wall of the abdomen, can cause displacement of organs or disruption of normal function.

Hematoma healing time can vary from weeks to months.

Hematoma on the skull

The most dangerous types of bruises affect the brain and skull.

Since the skull is a closed area, blood can get stuck inside the skull and put pressure on the brain. This can lead to brain damage, coma, or death.

There are two types of cranial hematomas:

  • Epidural hematoma :   Blood collects between the skull and the brain's protective membrane called the dura.
  • Subdural hematoma :   Blood collects between the brain tissue and the dura.

Symptoms of a possible intracranial hematoma include:

  • Persistent headache
  • Memory loss, confusion, or disorientation.
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness and loss of balance
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Speak slurred
  • Vision changes
  • Weakness on one side of the body

Paralysis, seizures , and loss of consciousness are the most serious symptoms of a skull hematoma.

Get immediate medical attention.

Anyone with symptoms of a head injury should seek immediate medical attention. Head injuries need to be carefully monitored so that surgery can be performed promptly if necessary.

Causes and risk factors

Both bruises and bruises occur when force (usually deaf) hits the skin directly, causing one or more blood vessels to break.

Typical causes of injuries from car accidents, sports injuries, falls, medical procedures, or surgeries. Orthopedic injuries and fractures (broken bones) can also cause bruising or bruising.

There are also factors that increase the likelihood of bruising or bruising. One of the main ones is old age.

As you age, your skin becomes thinner and more fragile, making you more prone to bruising. Similarly, older adults are at increased risk of developing bruises, especially subdural bruises, even with minor trauma.

There are also several health problems that increase the risk of bruising or bruising.

By their unique nature, these conditions affect the ability of damaged blood vessels to stop bleeding:

Certain medications can also increase the likelihood of bruising or bruising, for example:


Although trauma is the main cause, certain factors increase the risk of bruising and bruising. Some of these include old age, taking medications that disrupt blood clotting, and having an underlying bleeding disorder.


In most cases, doctors can diagnose a bruise or bruise just by looking at it during a physical exam.

In the case of a hematoma of the skull or a bruise within the body, imaging is usually required, such as a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) .

If bruised bones are suspected, X- rays may be taken to check for fractures. An MRI can be used to examine a bruise or to check for microcracks.

Watch out

Bruises go away on their own, but treatment can speed healing and reduce discomfort.

For the vast majority of bruises and small bruises near the surface, treatment includes the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation).

Specifically, the steps in this method include:

  • Relax and lift the bruise / bruise to reduce swelling and discomfort.
  • For the first two days after injury / injury, apply a frozen pea bag or an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day.
  • If there is swelling, gently squeeze the injured area with an elastic bandage.

For any discomfort or pain associated with bruising or bruising, your doctor may recommend that you take Tylenol (acetaminophen) . You will likely be asked to avoid taking NSAIDs such as Motrin (ibuprofen) as they can make bruising / bleeding worse.

Bruises that press on a nerve or blood vessel or that cause tissue damage may require drainage or surgical removal . Keep in mind that any bruise should drain relatively soon after it has formed, before the liquid blood becomes harder and harder.

If necessary, surgery may be required to repair any associated organic damage.

Bed rest and observation may be all that is needed for small skull bruises.

In the case of large bruises of the skull, the surgeon may need to drill a hole in the patient's skull to drain the accumulated blood, which is called surgery . The drain can be left in place for a couple of days while the patient is closely monitored in the hospital.

Alternatively, a craniotomy can be performed. During this operation, part of the skull bone is temporarily removed to remove trapped blood. A drain may be placed for a couple of days to remove excess blood or fluid.


Most bruises and bruises can be treated with the RICE method, which involves resting, applying ice, squeezing, and lifting the injured area. Larger, deeper skull or bruises may require medical supervision and / or drainage or surgical removal.


Laura Porter / Get Medication Information

Bruises and bruises are caused by injury or injury. The key difference between the two is that bruises are the result of damage to the smaller blood vessels, while bruises are the result of damage to the larger blood vessels.

Where bruises lie flat, bruises form hard lumps or masses due to blood pooling and getting stuck.

Bruises often take longer to heal than bruises and can be dangerous if they form on the skull or any internal organ.

Most superficial bruises and bruises can be diagnosed during a physical exam and treated with the RICE method. The skull, large or deeper bruises may require imaging and surgery.

Get the word of drug information

A small bruise under the nail or a bruise on the lower leg can be uncomfortable and may not look good, but keep in mind that they will heal over time.

However, be sure to seek medical attention if your bruise or bruise is very painful, is associated with a serious injury, or has signs of a concurrent skin infection (such as pus drainage, increased redness, or warmth).

Lastly, if you notice frequent or easy bruising, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor. The cause may be an underlying medical condition or a drug you are taking.

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